Monday, December 21, 2009

Going Concern Blog Nominates 409A as Worst Tax of Decade

"The Enron scandal featured elaborate deferred compensation plans to provide executives a gilded liferaft when the ship sinks. Congress responds with a code section affecting schoolteachers. They showed Ken Lay what for by designing a tax on folks on money they may never see because of somebody else’s foot fault.

Sec. 409A clobbers its victims two ways:

• It taxes employees on their deferred comp balances when the plan is out of compliance, even if the employee doesn’t get the money, ever.

• It hits them again with a 20% excise tax.

Worse, the code section imposing these penalties is so complicated that it took 3 years to complete the regulations that run to 200 pages, and are so complicated and intrusive that accidental noncompliance must be rampant.

This all makes Sec. 409A my choice as the worst tax enactment of the decade."

Article by Joe Kristan of "Going Concern"

Monday, December 14, 2009

Another Good Article Re: 409A Valuation Methods

Article From Kenneth J. Pantoga Here

IRS Releases Guidance on Intersection of 409A and TARP

"Notice 2009-92 provides that, subject to certain conditions, a financial institution that has received financial assistance under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that complies with an advisory opinion of the Special Master determining that it is necessary to change the time or form of payment of compensation to a service provider of the TARP recipient, or to condition payment upon a TARP-related condition such as the prior repayment of some or all of the financial assistance, or both, will not result in a failure to comply with the requirements of § 409A(a) of the Internal Revenue Code."

Article Here

Further Thoughts From Stanley D. Baum

"Under the Notice, any changes made to the time or form of payment of compensation under a Tarp Recipient's Plan, as required by the advisory opinion, will not cause the Plan to fail to meet the requirements of section 409A, so long as a number of conditions are met. In general, these conditions are:
-- the advisory opinion is specifically addressed to that TARP Recipient and Plan;
--the TARP Recipient has fully disclosed to the Special Master the employees whose compensation will be affected by complying with the advisory opinion, and
any similarly situated employees;
-- the advisory opinion explicitly sets forth (1) a revised time and form of
payment for the compensation which complies with section 409A and/or (2) a condition on payment of compensation under the Plan that is directly related to the TARP financial assistance received by the TARP Recipient, or to the ability of the TARP Recipient to repay the TARP financial assistance;
-- the advisory opinion does not authorize the TARP Recipient or any recipient of compensation under the Plan to elect another time or form of payment of compensation due from the Plan, other than in a manner which complies with section 409A;
-- the TARP Recipient and any recipient of compensation under the Plan must enter into a written agreement containing the revised time and form of payment, and any applicable conditions on payment, not later than by the end of the compensation recipient's taxable year in which the advisory opinion is issued, or by the 15th day of the third month following the date on which the advisory opinion is issued, if later; and
-- the TARP Recipient and any recipient of compensation under the Plan
complies with the terms of the advisory opinion in all material respects."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

409A Correction Period Ending Soon - Last Chance

"We are just weeks away from the last chance for companies to rely on the transitional relief provided under IRS Notice 2008-113. I hope that your company has already taken action to complete a thorough review of compensation arrangements to identify and correct any arrangements that do not comply with Section 409A. Although it might be too late administratively to make major changes to correct errors under the transition relief, it is still a good idea for stock plan managers to do a final review and confirm that corrective action has been taken, especially when it comes to discounted options or SARS."

Article From NASPP